Nov 02, 2021

China’s top 10 richest green energy execs

Kate Birch
8 min
china green energy
China’s new-energy sector billionaires are racing up the country’s rich list. We profile China’s richest new energy executives

As the world’s largest producer of renewable energy and the leader in global New Energy Vehicle (NEV) sales with 47% market share, it’s little surprise to find that the billionaires shooting up this year’s Hurun China Rich List are those leading the country’s new energy companies.

After all, China is aiming to scale up its renewable energy use in the coming decades and has made ambitious pledges to achieve peak carbon emissions by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions before 2060. In fact, the country recently released its road map of targets to increase share of non-fossil energy in the country’s energy mix to around 20% by 2025, 25% by 2030 and 80% by 2060.

And the recently-released Hurun China Rich List 2021 is a reflection of such ambition and success. Because, while many of China’s property and tech tycoons who previously dominated the list have slipped down the ranks – Hui Ka Yan, chairman of China Evergrande Group saw his rank plunge from fifth last year to 70th this year, while Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba and last year’s richest person dropped rank to fifth this year - the founders and execs of green energy, new energy and NEV firms have catapulted to the top.

Compared to last year’s Hurun China Rich List, 60 Chinese execs from green energy firms made this year’s list, up 10% from last year, with 20% of those on the list last year growing their wealth this year. In fact, eight of the 10 fastest risers on the list were related to new energy.

“A boom in new energy entrepreneurs, sparked by carbon reduction targets, as well as a spate of new listings of tech-related companies drove this year’s Hurun China Rich List to records heights, adding more than 20%, both in terms of number of individuals and also total wealth,” says Rupert Hoogewerf, Hurun Report Chairman and Chief Researcher.

The annual Hurun Rich List, launched in 1999 and compiled by the Hurun Research Institute, in Shanghai, included billionaires from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan for the first this year. Some 520 more people with a fortune of at least 2bn Chinese yuan were added this year with 2,918 featuring on this year’s list with a total of US$5.3 trillion in wealth.

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